About Lono

My name is Lono. I live in Parker, CO. I have a wifey, horses, dogs, cats, and fish. I write here, as well as a music site www.maybeiamwrong.com I am also in a band called Clownfight. IamCorrect at Gmail.com

Cartalk saved your life!

Tom and Ray Magliozzi, better known as "Click and Clack," the co-hosts of the nationally syndicated talk show, "Car Talk." Here, they eat lunch with members of their production crew after a recording session on Dec. 22, 2004 at WBUR. (Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

I listen to Car Talk every weekend, though they are re-runs.  They stopped producing new content about 5 years ago, right before Tommy passed away.  Right now, the re-runs are very old.  Shows from the late 80s.  Last week, I heard them reinvent the car and all car safety… as a throwaway discussion about Tommy’s shitty cars.  Tommy is the older one with the beard, great laugh, and love of crappy old cars.  If you don’t know the show, here’s a brief primer.  For about 30 years, these two brothers < Tom and Ray Magliozzi > did a 1 hour radio show every weekend.  People would call in with questions about their cars.  It seems silly to diagnose a car without looking at it, touching it, driving it… etc.  That is what made it so much fun.

They mentioned they should put pillows and balloons around Tommy’s car, to protect it.  the joke being, his cars were so shitty, it was absurd to protect them.  This is Tommy’s iconic Dodge Dart.  It is mentioned pretty much every episode.

https://www.cartalk.com/sites/default/files/features/dart/Images/dart3-big.jpg

These guys are/were smart.  Really smart.  They come off as a couple of wise ass jabronis talking shit in a garage, which is who they are.  They are also serious academics.  They both graduated from MIT.  In fact, Tommy (pictured above) has a doctorate from there, and also taught there.

Back to my point about their insight.  In discussing how best to protect the POS Dodge Dart, they mentioned the car should have ‘collapsing zones’ in and around the driver.  Here this is why it was revolutionary.  In the late 80s, when that was recorded… cars weren’t designed to protect people.  I know that sounds absurd, but its true.  Cars used to be designed to protect the car.  Remember when you looked under a hood and it was so jammed with this that there wasn’t a spot to even slip your hand in.  They maximized the space like crazy.  Problem was, all of that is mass just designed to get forced into the torso of the driver in a collision.  Airbags weren’t even factory standard until 1998!

Here is a perfect example of crumple zones and their effectiveness.  Look at this video, it’s a 1959 Chevy sedan crashing head on into a 2009 Chevy sedan.  Remember, the American cars of the 50s/60s/ and 70’s were beasts.  Just all unnecessarily large and heavy.  They prided themselves on their monstrosity, its called ‘American Steel’.  So, the mass of the older Chevy, likely with a V8, is probably 2 or 3 times that of the 2009 model they crash into.  One would think the newer smaller sedan would be destroyed.  One might think with a 6 foot long hood and a V8 nested in there that the driver of the older, heavier, longer car would be so much safer.  Nope.

In this video, its clear that the driver of the older sedan likely would have died instantly in that crash.  Back there, there wasn’t just no airbags, there wasn’t even shoulder harnesses.  I dare say the driver (obviously a crash test dummy in these scenario) wouldn’t have gotten a scratch on him as long as he was wearing a seatbelt.  In the crash, the older car was completely decimated.  The newer car, though, absolutely held its structure around the driver perfectly.  Only the front end was destroyed.  Well, it collapsed… which is what it was supposed to do.  On the newer car, the windshield doesn’t even give way.  The Car Talk guys were on this at least a decade before.  They had been doing the show since 1977!

NPR's Car Talk Host Tom Magliozzi Dies at 77 | Time

To me, its interesting to note that American cars did not get smaller for the sake of safety.  American car companies, especially General Motors, were/are legendarily slow to adopt to change.  Its why they have gone bankrupt as a hobby.  The last bankruptcy cost us taxpayers 19 BILLION to keep GM on its feet.  What killed ‘American Steel’ was the oil and gas embargo of the 70s.  People lined up for hours to get gas, often to find there was none when they finally got to the pump.  So, Americans looked at their landbeasts that got 10 mpg, and started to notice these little tiny Japanese cars.  The Honda got double the mileage, and lasted three times as long.  Another fun fact about Honda?  They were making all their cars front wheel drive.  All American cars were rear wheel drive.  Front wheel drive is safer and more effective, as noted by all cars now are front wheel drive.  Once again, it took American auto companies about 30 years to make that adjustment.

Even if you are not a car person, I strongly recommend listening to Car Talk.  There is no one on Earth who had more fun than those two on the air all those years together.  Its on your local NPR station every weekend, and available as a podcast on all streaming services.  Thank you Tommy and Ray for keeping us safe and entertained all those years.  In closing, don’t drive like my brother!

Friday Fives – wishes and dishes and weed

Memorial Day Memories: Reds, Whites, the Blues, Paella!! | The Best of Wines

What would you be doing right now if you were a billionaire?

Maybe this.  I am quite happy where and when I am.  I guess I wouldn’t be working, but I would be up and reading and typing and watching the snow fall.  Ok, total disclosure?  I’d prolly still be sleeping.  I am a night person.  It sucks, but it is who I am.

If you could smoke weed with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

I know no one on earth believes me, but I don’t smoke weed.  Not for moral or legal or health reasons… only because it totally freaks me out and makes me paranoid.  Anyway, you want me to say Willie Nelson or Snoop, right?  No, and here is why.  Those guys are always stoned.  So, you aren’t going to get any insight from them.  If there is anyone in the last 100 years I’d like to crack into their brain – it would be Nelson Mandela.  I think he is one of the most important people ever, certainly in my lifetime.  They say that Jesus died for your sins?  Well, Nelson Mandela lived for them.  Plus, I am guessing he didn’t smoke a lot of weed.  I bet we could get real deep, and real giggly, together.

What was the first thing you learned to cook (not that childhood thing like eggs/breakfast or that after-school pizza thing, but a grown-up made it from the scratch dish?

Chicken and vegetables over noodles.  Spicy and yummy, and different every time.  As an adult, it is expected you can cook… and I can.  At like 18, though?  People were impressed.  It also looked like I could cook anything.  Not really, mostly just that.  Now… I got it.  Give me a meat – any meat – a starch, some veggies, and some spice and I will make something dope.

What’s your favorite palindrome?

Boob.  It’s a perfect word, it’s a perfect thing.  If you are religious, its proof there is a god.  And, perhaps most importantly… you can spell it out on calculator.

What is a low-effort dish that still wows people at a potluck?

Whatever my wifey makes.  This may or may not make sense, but I do the cooking nightly.  Every night I cook dinner from scratch, and I love it.  We have a plan about 50% of the time.  Wifey is a good cook, too, though.  She just doesn’t love it like I do.  But she loves cooking for special events.  So, whenever we are bringing something over to the neighbors, she will always make it.  its less work for me, which is nice.  BUT… lets admit I am a teeny tiny resentful.  I cook 99% of the meals, and anyone around us must assume wifey does all the cooking.   Ok, one more thing I am a teeny resentful for.  She makes the best and yummiest dishes for these events… but not for us.  Oh, you made a lasagna for Billy’s party?  Now nice.  How about making one for us?  No?  um.   Ok.   ☹

How about that for some first world problems, eh!  I should not complain.  Her best, and signature dish is Paella.  A proper Paella is a TON of work.  It even requires a very specific pan.  Long ago, we went to Barcelona and around Spain.  Paella was everywhere.  Every restaurant had it, and it was always cheap and delicious.  I think it was cheap because they made it in metric tons.  It’s a pretty expensive dish to make – shrimp, clams, good sausage, special rice, special pan…   but its super worth it.  It take Saffron.  Saffron is the most expensive thing on Earth.  More valuable and cost than diamonds or gold.  See this?  That weighs less than a piece of notebook paper.  That is probably $100 worth of Saffron.

*** here is how perfect Paella is – you know I top EVERY ‘Friday Fives’ with a mandala.  Its an homage to CG Jung.  Well, a proper Paella is laid like a mandala.  A proper mandala is also a Buddhist thing that is made of sand by monks.  And the second its done, it is destroyed.  A paella is like that, in that once its done and beautiful… it gets eaten.

Friday Fives – Shakespeare hasn’t much, either!***

Four Seasons Mandala - Window Sticker / Decal - Peace Resource Project

What is something positive going on in the world more people should know about?

             We are all learning a bit more about self reliance and preparation.

 If Covid hadn’t happened, how would your life be different right now?

I’d be typing this from my office, instead of an extra bedroom (aka Home Office) where I am.  An hour away from the office, on a Friday.  Its glorious.  Corp America and the world finally know what I was working on and proving over 20 years ago… work from home is SUPER feasible for many millions of jobs.  Think of the pollution saved from people not driving.

Correction, think of the pollution saved only if you are a ‘liberal snowflake’, as we know the right does not believe in the existence or consequence of pollution.

What actually has a 100% chance of happening?

Less educated people voting against their own self interest.  Aw heck, more educated people, too!  Basically, everyone including me sucks ass at Democracy.  You ALL hate Congress, don’t you?  You ALL think everyone of them are thieving lazy corrupt dipshits.  YET – they are all re-elected every time.   Over 90% of Congressfolk (am combining House of Representatives and the Senate, here) get re-elected. 

What’s the worst chore to do and why?

Dusting, I guess.  In that, it’s the only one I don’t do… or really even care about.  Yeah, I scrub toilets.   And not just when company is coming over.  Dusting, though?  That’s for squares, daddy!  Wait, that just counts for inside.  Outside?  Picking up the dog crap.

Who is the man behind the curtain?

A marketing executive.  Remember the tale of big brother?  How the Govt would follow you in the future and know everything you do, and everywhere you go?  It’s here, but its not the govt.  they don’t really care.  Honest!  Its corporations.  Its Amazon and Google, and our Kroeger card know you better than you know yourself.

*** – ok – that line at the top? It’s an old joke that goes something like this “I haven’t written much lately, but neither has Shakespeare